Sunday (Ramble) Salon

After a bout of begging on Twitter, which should have a special term (twegging?), we have 51 brave souls taking The TBR Double Dog Dare from as far away as Bulgaria, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.  Good luck to everyone.

I did manage to do some reading over the holidays in spite of having to re-do the floor in the basement which flooded during the big rain we got here in Northern California this year.  When I say re-do, I mean rip out the warped wood tiles and slap a coat of paint on it.  I use the ruined part of the basement as my studio so I don’t really need a fancy floor.  I’ll get some cheap carpets later this month and we’re going to call it a day until some future real estate agent tells us we need to fix the floor in order to find a buyer.  But that’s years away!

I finally dropped my little Chrome book one too many time this week so I’m on a new computer now.  My second new computer, actually.  The first one—well— you get what you pay for.  What I got was not acceptable, so I exchanged it for this one, it and 140 dollars, and now I have a pretty good computer.  It’s even got a touch screen which I didn’t know when I bought it.  See, there was this ant crawling across the screen…..

And we have ants.  Did I mention that we have ants.

We’re working on getting rid of them but ants are persistent if they’re anything.

Tomorrow I go back to work, so I’ll finally be doing my semester grading later today.  Perhaps after I finish typing this rambling post.  There’s not really that much to do but I have to enter it all into the computer and figure out final grades for the semester so I won’t have much of  a Sunday.

Then back to work tomorrow.  I’m trying to go back with a new attitude.  I’ve not really had a very good year so far; so I’ll be making some changes in my classroom, doing a few new things and bringing back a couple of old ones.  One nice thing about working with middle school age students is that the first day after winter break is almost a second first day of school.  It’s nice to get a chance to re-start everything just about fresh.

If I do get my work done with time to spare I have a Karin Fossum book next to me called Don’t Look Back which I’m anxious to start. I just finished the second in Ben Winter’s The Last Policeman series very early this morning.  It was fun.  Then, I think I’m going to leave both crime and the apocalypse behind for a few books and delve into the deep recesses of my TBR bookcase.

Or maybe this stack of library books I checked out on New Year’s Eve.

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22 Comments

  1. shoreacres says:

    I’ve gotten started on my TBR pile! Granted, I’m only five pages into a book about the great Galveston storm of 1900, but five pages is five pages.

    An, technology. I put my cell phone through the laundry on Christmas eve. It came out very clean and spiffy, I’ll say that. My biggest Christmas present was finding the Verizon elves still were at work on Christmas eve, and could transfer my number to a cranky old phone I still had. Yes, Virginia, and all that.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Now see, a book on the Galveston storm of 1900 sounds really interesting to me….What’s the title….no, don’t tell me…..really, don’t tell me….

      Best of luck with your phone.

      1. shoreacres says:

        No matter. You won’t find “The Complete Story of the Galveston Horror” at Amazon. There were 254 copies issued by Copano Bay Press, a Texas press devoted to bringing back into print significant historic books. My copy is # 118.

        The book is a compilation of observations and original sources by John Coulter in 1900 — immediately after the Great Storm. It incudes as complete as possible a list of those who perished, by day and location. I just set it aside again — it’s going to be one of those that is more than just a good read!

  2. Trish says:

    Studio–do you paint? Now I’m wondering if you painted the picture in your header! Good luck with class tomorrow–hope it goes well. I have a lot of respect for teachers of middle schoolers–what a tough age! Either way, it’s always tough to go back to the grind after so much time off! Not looking forward to trying to get my gang back into the routine tomorrow morning after lazy mornings of sleeping in.

    Enjoy your reading! And good luck with the ants. We have them in the summer–so obnoxious!

    1. A friend of mine painted the picture I used in the banner. That is Dakota on the left.. I used to lots of mixed media, book arts. I made blank books, books that were art and mail art. Even sold a few things though never for enough to cover much more than my costs and times. Now, I’m into model railroads. Yes, you read that right.

      Ants tend to come inside whenever it rains in California.

  3. tracybham says:

    You have ants? Is this a California thing? I am in Southern California and we have had ants for months and they never get any better. For a few days they took over our downstairs bathroom floor. But mostly they are in the kitchen, just a few looking around here and there.

  4. I can only speak for California, since I’ve lived here since I was 10, but yes, we always have ant issues, yearly at least. For us, they tend to come inside when it gets wet and cold outdoors. I can’t really fault them for that; I’d do the same thing in their position.

  5. I love that optimism about a midyear reboot for the school year! It has been my experience over the years that the little ones come back exhausted, and are especially compliant about practicing their routines. Because they are half asleep. 🙂 Also glad to see that you stocked up on New Year’s Eve. Congrats on getting all those participants!

    1. There have been times when I’ve flat out said we need a re-boot and are starting over with reviewing the class rules like we did on the very first day. It’s worked.

  6. Richard says:

    Late Happy New Year to you, James, and best wishes for a happy reading and teaching campaign for you in 2015. Although I share your pain about having to return to work tomorrow–boy, do I ever share your pain!–I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be following the TBR Double Dog Dare from the coward seats on the sidelines. Good luck to you and your fellow non-new book reading “victims”!

    1. Thanks, and happy New Year to you, Richard. “Victims” I kind of like that. 😉

  7. readerbuzz says:

    I have found that the first day back with students of any age is like a brand new start. Mine are always so darn quiet, too. I wonder if their parents spent the entire break fussing at them. Not sure.

    Love the idea of reading through my TBR but don’t like making myself do so. Think I’ll attempt but not promise anything.

    Readerbuzz.blogspot.com

    1. Once you’ve forced yourself to do it for three or four books, it can become really fun, up until week six or seven, then you really start to feel the burn as they say.

  8. Molly says:

    While I missed the original registration deadline for the TBR Double Dog Dare challenge – I so want to take part this year. While I read 52 books last year (which was my intended goal), I am sorely disappointed how few of those books were actually novels (like… I could count them on hand!)

    I have so many novels sitting on my shelves waiting for me escape into their fictional worlds. I hope this is the year I finally do it!

    Best wishes on the first day of the second semester 🙂

    1. Would you like me to list you? You don’t have to commit for the entire three months if you don’t want to, you know. 😉

  9. Lu says:

    Happy happy new year! I hope your fresh start tomorrow goes well!

    1. Thanks.

  10. Trisha says:

    Semesters are the best part of teaching. Every 16 weeks, I start over – quite literally as I teach at the college level. All new students, revised materials, refreshed energy. It’s a blessing, isn’t it?

    1. It really is. I think it’s going to come in very handy this year.

  11. John-Paul says:

    Good luck back in the whiteboard jungle. I am feeling very pleased with myself and have now started my fourth book on the TBR list. If I keep up at this rate I’ll be unbearably smug by April.

  12. I’m late to the party, but so far my behavior is totally compliant with the terms of the dare, so I am going to consider myself officially participating.

    1. Welcome back. Did you make it through the entire year last year?

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